Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

ZTE will reportedly pay over $1 billion to lift U.S. ban

I know, that's a mouthful of deceit and shady sh*t from ZTE, hence the reason they were given a hefty ban. ZTE has reportedly not yet signed the amended deal, but that seems like it's only a matter of time. Here we are, though. Reuters reports, via unnamed sources, that ZTE has signed a preliminary agreement with the U.S. Commerce Department that would allow ZTE to once again buy parts for its devices from U.S. -based hardware and software suppliers such as Qualcomm and Google. Sources say the preliminary deal includes a $1 billion fine against the Chinese company and an additional $400 million in escrow in the event of future violations. The company must allow full access to its facilities so investigators can verify United States components are being used as claimed.

Or maybe this will be blocked?

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A spokesman for the Commerce Department said that no definitive agreement has been signed.

The telecommunications equipment maker has been on life support since a seven-year US ban was imposed in April, breaking a 2017 agreement reached after it was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran and North Korea. The U.S. Department of Commerce wishes to amend the settlement agreement so that the $361 million that the company had already paid would be included.

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ZTE also did not immediately respond to requests for comment. In 2018, the government placed a seven-year US parts supply ban on ZTE, as it claimed the company had not yet disciplined 35 of its employees, which was a condition of the 2017 deal. The agreement is also expected to call for other concessions from ZTE, including new board members and increased US oversight of its business. It agreed to pay $890 million in fines, dismiss four employees, and discipline 35 others by either denying them their bonuses or reprimanding them. It also has to replace its board of directors and top-level executives within 30 days of signing the agreement. Smaller makers of optical components, including Oclaro and Acacia, rely more heavily on ZTE's business. This deal has been highly controversial, as a number of members of the U.S. Senate, including lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties, have stated ZTE's phones are a major security threat, claiming they could be used by the Chinese government to spy on U.S. citizens. While it did fire the four employees, the company admitted to making false statements about the others, handing out full bonuses.

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